IRB Approval made Easier

Education research is considered exempt under IRB regulations, but UC Irvine is currently still requiring that researchers submit an exempt narrative to an IRB committee and get approval before conducting and publishing education research. This process of submission is not onerous, but it can be confusing.

Here we attempt to outline the process and provide sample documents to make this as straightforward as possible. You will likely need to complete all of these documents. They are listed here as Google Docs with comments. Copy and edit as needed, then download as pdfs to submit to the IRB.

Before you can submit an IRB application, you must complete an online CITI Human Subjects training. You can check here to see if you have completed this in the past (look for: “(Social/Behavioral) CITI Human Subject Research”) completed in the past five years.
If you need to complete this tutorial, read the instructions here.

Additional instructions for submitting an IRB are on the OIR Website, and the link to the IRB electronic submission is here.

The IRB-C Committee (Social-Behavioral) meets every Friday, and exempt (education research) submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis. The IRB analysts attempt to send you a pre-review about 15 days before they expect to review your application, so you can make necessary changes. They say most applications require 2-3 months to be fully approved, so turn in your forms sooner rather than later. The IRB analysts welcome questions before submission (they are really nice in spite of their being so particular), so contact them at and include that you are IRB-“C” and exempt education research.